After Appomattox

After Appomattox

Military Occupation and the Ends of War

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"The Civil War did not end at Appomattox Court House. Nor did it end at the surrenders that followed in North Carolina, Texas, and Indian Country. The Civil War dragged on for at least five years after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in April 1865. In the first large-scale examination of the post-Civil War occupation, this book offers a rethinking of Reconstruction, the end of the Civil War, and the United States' history of occupation. The Civil War could not end, because slavery had not yet ended. Freedpeople held in bondage throughout the South taught soldiers that it would take military force to crush the institution of slavery. To create reliable rights on the ground and to stave off planters' efforts to restore their power, the United States launched an expansive, aggressive, little-understood occupation of the rebel states, granting the Army power to overturn laws, appoint new officials, conduct military trials, and ignore writs of habeas corpus. Yet relying on occupation posed dilemmas for the United States. Isolated in small outposts, the Army could regulate only what it could see. In large no-man's lands, a series of insurgencies and partisan conflicts arose; much of the South fell into near-anarchy. Maintaining an occupation created political problems as well, as northern voters urged Congress to cut spending and send troops home. This book describes a Civil War that could not quite end, a peace that could not quite be achieved, and a resolution that continues to shape American life"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 2015.
ISBN: 9780674743984
Branch Call Number: 973.7 DOWNS
Characteristics: ix, 342 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 11, 2015

An thoroughly insightful and readable study of what was at stake after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox and the assassination of President Lincoln, when Republicans from the North had to decide how to bring the South back into the fold without the return of slavery and protecting (and failing to protect) a newly freed black population. Lots of new research went into this, which the author admits turned the premise of this book from the failures of Reconstruction to its achievements, as slight as they sometimes seem 150 years later. And the author shows how we still struggle with the use of war powers to transform our future and work toward liberty and peace.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top